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Expert Panel Should Test Cullen's Scheme

"If Michael Cullen wants to get support for his pre-funded superannuation scheme he should ask an independent expert panel to assess whether it will work," National Finance spokesperson Bill English said today.

"From what we know so far, Cullen's scheme poses more questions than it answers.

"National believes the scheme should be thoroughly tested.

"The best way to do that is to assemble an outside panel of well-informed people representing community interests, and ask them to look at the many unanswered questions surrounding the scheme.

"As it stands, Labour is proposing the introduction of a scheme which at least three New Zealand political parties have serious reservations about. Without widespread political support it's hard to see how the scheme will generate much community support. So it's hard to see how it would provide any real certainty for the future

"Dr Cullen's scheme involves taxpayers paying over 50 billion dollars into a Government investment fund in the next 30 or 40 years. The community needs to understand that Governments required to run large surpluses every year won't have money to spend on other community priorities.

"A select committee of politicians alone is not a sufficiently robust forum to test such an important idea as the long-term future of superannuation. There must be wider community involvement in the decision.

"Most politicians from all parties are searching for a way to find genuine, long-term agreement on superannuation. Our proposal offers one way to go down that path, which is what New Zealanders want of us," Mr English said.

Ends

A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.


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